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Get Some Sleep! 10 Treatment Options for Insomnia

Ten of the Most Common Medical Solutions and Home Remedies for Insomnia

If you have frequent sleepless nights, it might be time to talk to your doctor about insomnia . Luckily, there are plenty of options available to help. Here's a list of ten common treatment options for insomnia — one (or more) of them just might work for you.

Home remedies for insomnia

1. Avoid caffeine at bedtime . You don't have to give up your morning coffee to help with insomnia, but avoiding caffeine in the evenings may help you get some sleep.

Instead, try a caffeine-free alternative at bedtime. Warm milk and herbal tea are popular choices. In fact, many companies even make “sleep teas” to help you fall asleep sooner.

2. Meditate . Health facilities like the National Sleep Foundation and the Mayo Clinic agree that meditation can improve the quality of your sleep while also making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

3. Don't hang out in your bed . If you're chilling in bed, watching TV or surfing the web, then you're sending mixed signals to your body.

Training your brain to understand that the bed is for sleeping may actually help you get better sleep. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule and avoid spending time in your room unless you're planning to get some shut eye.

4. Don't exercise too close to bedtime . Getting your heart rate up right before bed will make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Your body needs time to come down from the workout and relax before you can snooze peacefully.

5. Essential oils . Even though the effectiveness of essential oils has yet to be proven beyond a case-by-case basis, it's still worth a try if you're dealing with insomnia.

Lavender, in particular, has become a very popular option among chronic insomniacs. You can use it in its oil form, or you can find a soothing tea to sip.

Medical treatment options for insomnia

It's important to discuss insomnia with your doctor during your next wellness exam. If home remedies don't help you sleep better, then it may be time to explore medicinal alternatives.

1. Try melatonin . Your body produces melatonin naturally, but taking a supplement can be beneficial for treating insomnia. Since it hasn't been tested long-term, it's important to talk to your doctor about other treatment options if your insomnia persists.

2. Ask your doctor about over-the-counter medications . Some common medications, like Benadryl, have side effects that include drowsiness. However, they also have other side effects, so talk with your doctor before using it as a sleep aid.

3. Consider prescription sleep aids . Ambien and Lunesta are two of the most popular sleep aids. Both require a prescription from your doctor and some people may experience side effects.

4. Therapy . For people who can't get to sleep because thoughts race through their minds, cognitive behavioral therapy is a way to calm down and relax by training your brain to put those thoughts on hold while you sleep.

Additionally, sleep disorder counseling can help you get a full night of rest.

5. A sleep study could help your doctor isolate the source of your insomnia, but this is typically a last resort. It may uncover different issues that are causing your insomnia, and then your doctor and/or sleep specialist can suggest alternative solutions.

The caring therapists at Foundations Counseling can help you and your family overcome life's greatest challenges. Contact us today!